Mental Action and Self‐Awareness (II): Epistemology

Christopher Peacocke

in Mental Actions

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199225989
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191710339 | DOI:
Mental Action and Self‐Awareness (II): Epistemology

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We know of our own mental actions by taking our conscious, belief-independent events of apparent action awareness at face value. This is not a perceptual model of the self-ascription of attitudes, nor is it open to the same objection as perceptual models of introspection. An explanation of the impossibility of what Shoemaker calls ‘self-blindness’ about mental actions is given. The explanation rejects Shoemaker's thesis that the impossibility of self-blindness implies that mental events are metaphysically dependent of our knowing about them. The positive account is developed in a way that reconciles externalism about intentional content with the existence of distinctive knowledge of the content of our mental actions.

Keywords: action awareness; externalism; mental action; Shoemaker; self-knowledge; entitlement; self-blindness; canonical concept; Wright; intentional content

Chapter.  11337 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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